Effort Reporting Frequently Asked Questions
Who is required to certify or have certified for them an annual effort report?
All UNH employees receiving compensation paid from an externally sponsored program (whether federally sourced or not) who are faculty, administrators, staff (PAT), extension educators, or graduate students are required to complete or have completed for them an annual effort certification.
Each UNH employee must certify his/her effort report or a principal investigator, fund manager, or other responsible official may certify effort using suitable means of verification that the work was performed and reasonable in relation to the average percentage allocation of compensation.
Annually, in September, each UNH employee (or other responsible person with specific knowledge of the employee's effort) must certify his/her total university effort if all or part of the related compensation was funded by UNH Sponsored Programs.
Effort in preparing competitive proposals should be allocated to unrestricted general funds or PI help fund accounts.
The following activities can be charged to grants:
- Directing and conducting project activities
- Writing a project report or continuation proposal
- Consulting and collaborating with colleagues on project activities
- Presenting project research outcomes at a professional meeting
- Maintaining current professional knowledge related to the project
- Mentoring graduate students on the project activities
- Managing intellectual property rights related to the project
The following activities cannot be allocated to sponsored projects:
- Writing a proposal, except for non-competitive continuations or progress reports
- Administrative service as a department chair or dean
- Instruction, including office hours and mentoring graduate students on something other than a specific research project
- Serving on an IRB, IACUC, or similar committee
- Fundraising and lobbying
- Serving as the primary editor of a journal
- Peer review of manuscripts
- Advisory activities for sponsor
An employee's pay may not be charged directly to an externally-Sponsored Program for activities that are not identified in that specific program. Pay for administration, instruction, service, clinical activity, institutional governance, and new or competitive proposal preparation must not be charged directly to externally-Sponsored Programs unless the activities are specifically approved activities of those Sponsored Programs. With the proviso that unrelated and unallowable activities may not be charged, a maximum of 95% of a UNH employee's Regular Pay during each fiscal year may be charged to Sponsored Programs. With written approval from the UNH Senior Vice Provost for Research (SVPR), exceptions can be made up to 100% if the employee is working exclusively on the Sponsored Program(s).
When any of the percentages on the effort report are incorrect by 5% or more, you should promptly discuss the changes needed with the Principal Investigator, if you are not the Principal Investigator, and with your Business Service Center before signing the effort certification.
Effort Certification for Self Certifiers is the correct entry into the system for anyone who is certifying only for themselves and is not a PI or fund manager. If you are a PI or fund manager and try to enter through this option you will receive a message asking you to go back to the menu and enter through the option Effort Certification for PIs and Fund Managers.
Effort Certification for PIs and Fund Managers is the correct entry into the system to certify for yourself and for others. You should have a Banner account and administrator rights in the system.
This is our first year using a paperless effort certification process, so thank you for your patience. Months of setup and testing have preceded our move to this online process. There was an unexpected technical problem when the online system opened on 9/3 that required everyone to be in the Enterprise VPN to certify their effort – even their own effort. This has been corrected with the two different WISE selections.
The Enterprise VPN (http://www.usnhgateway.org/ecgvpn/ecgvpn.html) is required for you to certify effort for anyone other than yourself. If you are a PI or fund manager, you will also need to log into the VPN to certify your own effort. Note that UNH policy requires you to have specific knowledge and suitable means of verification to certify effort for anyone other than yourself. For additional information please go to http://www.usnhgateway.org/vpn/ or contact the IT Help Desk at 862-4242.
It is possible for some Mac users to access the Enterprise VPN, however generally, Macs are not supported. If you are using an up-to-date Apple OS, and have Java installed, there is a very good chance that our step-by-step directions will work for you.
If you are a PI or fund manager with grants that paid others but received no pay from the grants yourself, there will be nothing to certify in the “Certify My Effort” screen. However, you may need to certify the effort of others paid on your grants if not already certified by the employee themselves or another PI.
The list of people in the Email notice are those who received any pay from grants for which are you the fund manager or PI. UNH policy supports anyone certifying their own effort. Generally, graduate students are certified by fund manager or PI’s. If you open an effort report for anyone on your list and the record indicates that it is locked and completed, you are not able to certify this effort report.
After an effort report is certified and locked, the “Certify” button is removed. Also, whenever the Business Service Center has started a labor redistribution, that employee’s or graduate student’s report will not be available for certification, so the “Certify” button is not available.